Burnout results from chronic workplace stress. According to the World Health Organization, burnout includes these three elements:
- Exhaustion: Experiencing a stress response causing people to feel physically, emotionally, and cognitively exhausted.
- Negative and Cynical: Feeling negative and cynical toward work, people at work, and others.
- Negative about Oneself: Thinking what is wrong with me and why can’t I handle this?
Why is burnout a high priority for employers?
The modern workplace is fast paced and demanding. Meeting work expectations, while facing stressors brought on by the pandemic and continuing social and political unrest, has exacerbated the effects of workplace burnout. Employers see the impact across industries and the urgency in addressing these issues:
- Retention: Retaining high performers.
- Climate and Culture: Building and sustaining an organizational culture where employees feel cared for and want to come to work.
- Performance and Productivity: Eliminating unnecessary stressors to allow people to perform well and thrive.
- Overall Health: Beyond mental health conditions, burnout and stress are also linked to serious and costly physical health conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 Diabetes, and a general vulnerability to illnesses.
Six Factors for Tackling Burnout
- Workload: Ensuring that people have the time and tools they need to get their work done and opportunities to communicate about their work.
- Autonomy and Control: Offering people the chance to have some control over their work and how it gets done.
- Reward and Recognition: Ensuring that people are recognized and celebrated for a job well done.
- Community and Sense of Belonging: Creating opportunities for people to feel like there is trust and mutual support with colleagues.
- Fairness in Opportunities: Offering opportunities for people to be promoted and to feel like they are treated fairly.
- Values and Purpose in Work: Supporting people in feeling good about their work and proud of what they are doing.